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Ram Barkai from South Africa

Ram Barkai is a 65-year-old Israeli-born extreme swimmer and ice swimming administrator from Cape Town, South Africa. Ram was a software engineer and a hedge fund trader in Asia and ended up as a CEO of a public listed financial firm in South Africa.

He has inspired people through his extreme swims and extraordinarily positive view of life and its challengesHe started swimming at 40 after damaging both knees in aikido training in Tokyo and has achieved some major titles in ice swimming. Click here to read more.

He is the founder and chair of IISA (International Ice Swimming Association) and inspires swimmers to look at water in an entirely new light with the temperature no longer being the limiting factor.


He says if there is no ice then you can swim but understands the risk of extreme swimming and counsels individuals to swim with caution and lots of preparation. He compiles and analyses the physiological data for all the swims he organises which is very useful to the open water swimming world.